September 22, 2023


Free For All Food

Tea’s Carbon Footprint Explored

Tea’s Carbon Footprint Explored

At any time question what form of effects tea has on the atmosphere? That depends mostly on the actions of the tea drinker, according to tea technologist and longtime tea industry expert Nigel Melican of Teacraft, Ltd. who recently did an in-depth analyze on the carbon footprint of tea.

Exploring tea’s carbon effect from Asian tea farm to American teapot (and landfill), Melican sought to locate out whether or not tea is an environmental “saint or a sinner” when we evaluate its carbon footprint by a quantity of conditions. He uncovered that numerous variables in the domain of the tea drinker herself have a great effects on the closing outcome, and it appears worth sharing considering that we are on this planet jointly. 

“If tea is effectively designed, if we look at the source chain adequately, if we make some changes, we can truly get tea to be carbon neutral,” claimed Melican. “Some tea in some countries we could get to be carbon unfavorable. Now that is fairly one thing for a item which goes from wherever its grown, ten thousand miles [away], to the client…” reported Melican.

In his research, Melican discovered that tea’s carbon footprint (calculated by the selection of grams of carbon dioxide for every cup) can differ significantly from over 200g CO2 for each cup to -6g CO2 for every cup, based on how the tea is grown, processed, shipped, packaged, brewed, and discarded. On average, a free tea which you consume at a tea lounge has about 20g CO2 per cup. As a reference issue, the carbon footprint of a cup of beer is 374g, a can of Coca Cola is 129g and a cup of cow’s milk is about 225g. As this kind of, unfastened tea is a far superior alternative environmentally than any of these.

But right here is where by the tea drinker arrives in. First, the tea collection produced by a tea purchaser performs an tremendous part from the start off. . Melican uncovered that teabag tea has, in actuality, ten moments the carbon footprint of unfastened tea (all other variables currently being equivalent). I’ll repeat it in reverse. Loose tea has a single tenth the carbon footprint of teabag tea. Picking out a free tea around a teabag tea usually means you (and the environment) are unencumbered of a selection of carbon-intense packaging components like the nylon or paper teabag and its string, the box and the plastic wrap all around the box. This is possibly the greatest PR for free tea I have at any time identified (though drinking loose tea speaks for alone).

Recycling or re-making use of tea (as very well as its packaging) also enhances its carbon footprint.  Free tea generally arrives in small, recyclable or re-usable containers, and this gains the world merely for the reason that the packaging is frequently re-employed and not discarded in landfill. Composting tea somewhat than tossing it in the trash will also benefit the earth.  If you you should not have a backyard, present your employed tea leaves to mates and neighbors who do (they will thank you for it and so will the earth).

As nicely, the purchaser can re-use tea leaves, strengthening its carbon footprint. Steeped tea leaves can be put to fantastic use to fertilize houseplants or gardens, to clean one’s home or for skincare.  A tea drinker can also re-use tea and tea leaves to cook dinner, to clean, and to minimize odors in the home (depart loose tea out in a bowl or cup to absorb odors in a area, just like baking soda).

How a tea drinker heats the h2o for tea also has an effects. According to Melican, “Gasoline is finest as there is only one conversion reduction from burning the fossil gas to generate heat power to raise the drinking water temperature in the kettle. With energy, you get 5 different losses: 1. turning fossil gasoline into steam, 2. steam into electricity, 3. grid losses along the wires (voltage drop), 4. transformer losses as voltage is stepped up and down, and 5. in heating the water in the kettle.”

Melican said that when he established out to do the analyze to existing at the 2009 Environment Tea Expo in Las Vegas, he had no notion what he would uncover. “I was incredibly joyful to come across, in genuine truth, tea is in fact a saint.” stated Melican.

Finally, Mr. Melican would like to see required carbon footprint labeling on all meals items, a legislation which is being thought of in England and which people in the U.S. and all over the world can ask for of their reps. In the meantime, sip your free tea guilt-free and with abandon!